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Thread: Masta Killa Interview

  1. #1

    Default Masta Killa Interview

    dunno if this been upped already but here u go:


    Masta Killa - Lion Heart : Part 1

    Interview by: Michael Ivey

    Some say every human sacrifice, no matter how self-less it appears, has itsí own unique payoff. True that. By patiently waiting two years to release his sophomore LP, ĎMade in Brooklyn,í Masta Killa once again procured darts from his entire Wu-Tang Clan. While humbly placing familial bonds over timely features the cunning vet swapped quantity for quality.

    ĎMade in Brooklyní also features the dynamic soundscapes of Killaís Nature Sounds label-mate, and new Clan favorite, MF Doom, as well as beats by Killahís BK brethren. The making-of was definitely a communal experience, producing music the coy emcee calls ďtimeless.Ē If being arguably the most unsung member of a legendary Hip Hop crew werenít enough for him, die hard fans would be out of luck; fortunately it means much more.
    Killah recently shared time with NBS to discuss family albums (past, present and future), the advantages of independent work and real Nature Sounds.

    Nobodysmiling.com : The first thing Iíd like to know-what do people call you for short? You and I know thereís a rapper who holds down the ďKillahĒ moniker. Do people call you ďKillahĒ for short?

    Masta Killa : Um some people (laughs).

    Nobodysmiling.com : Most people just refer to you as ďMasta Killa?Ē

    Masta Killa : Nah. Most people refer to me as Jemel Ari; so itís either ďJemelĒ or itís ďJemel AriĒ ya-nah-mean? Some people say ďKillahĒ ya-nah-mean?

    Nobodysmiling.com : OK. I can dig it. Whyíd you choose to do business with Nature Sounds for this album?

    Masta Killa : Well we chose to do business with each other. It was a situation whereas you have somebody whoís respecting your talent and ya business thoughts and how you conduct business. And we both respect each other on how we conduct business and talent and, you know, itís a good feeling. Itís like when you come to work and feel good about the people thatís around you and you love what you love to do, itís like ĎShit. Thatís a good marriage right there.'

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word up. You have MF Doom on production for ĎMade in Brooklyn.í Did you guys go in for actual sessions or did he just shoot you the beats and you did your thing?

    Masta Killa : Exactly. Thatís the way it happened. I respect the brother for what he does. Ya know, he got some crazy ass shit.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word up.

    Masta Killa : So it was a pleasure to-an honor-to have some of his music to be able to do some work to it and umÖthat was a great thing. Ya know, ĎMade in Brooklyn,í seventy five percent of the album was recorded in Brooklyn. It also gave me an opportunity to work with certain producers from my hood-and emcees-so that was a great thing also. Itís dudes that um, you might not know they names but they up on there reppin hard too.

    Nobodysmiling.com : I got you. Most artists, when theyíre asked about the change from album to another, talk about growth and going through a lot of things, but you say ĎMade in Brooklyní is the same formula as 'No Said Date' with more ďBrooklyn swag.Ē

    Masta Killa : Pretty much so. This is-like I said, I got to add more formula from brothers that was around me like my man Wyse; he made this beat; he made ďThe Iron God Chamber.Ē And thatís one of the hardest tracks on the album to me. Thatís a banger. Itís like I knew him for years, but...(continued below)

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    just to have the opportunity to be able to incorporate the talent from my hood-people thatís around me-and incorporate it to the foundation because, ya know, it wouldnít be what it is without the supporting cast of my family. Thatís number one also.

    Nobodysmiling.com : True that.

    Masta Killa : Thatís what makes it what it is. Itís my album but at the same time itís a Wu-Tang Clan album because my family is supporting me.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Speaking of the Wu, this is the second time youíve been able to get the whole Wu on your album?

    Masta Killa : Thatís right.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Right. How does that go down? Did schedules just happen to fit when it came time to do your album or is there something about a Masta Killa album that makes your Wu homies make it a priority to make those tracks happen?

    Masta Killa : No. Itís like Iím blessed to be-my situation is not demanding of me because of the independent situation. Itís not demanding of me that I have to have a album in at a certain date. And with the commanding schedules of my family-we all being pulled in so many different directions with our careers-Iím blessed to say that Iím fortunate enough to wait two months for my brother to get off tour, if I have to, to make that happen; whereas if you had to get this album in for whoever you have a situation with, you basically gotta make deadlines because this is business also.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Of course.

    Masta Killa : You might didnít have the time to wait those two months whereas I did, you know what Iím mean? Itís not anything special, but I can say Iím blessed to have the opportunity to be patient enough to get what I need from my family before I put my album out.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word up. So you pretty much look at it as a positive? Itís been two years since your last album?

    Masta Killa : Yes sir.

    Nobodysmiling.com : You pretty much look at that down time as a positive? A lot of cats would say ĎIf I donít have a record in, how am I eating? What am I doing with myself?í Feel me?

    Masta Killa : Right-right. Well, you know, rabbits jump for carrots ya-nah-mean? I feel, to be patient, as the lion that I am, and wait for a real meal (laughs). You know what Iím saying?

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word up.

    Masta Killa : You can really eat for real. So I say, rather than put out something every six months that you might not appreciate, Iímma take my time and concentrate on a project and give you something that you can appreciate maybe for the next ten years. It might have took me two years to put it together, but at the same time, like I said, I had to- those two years probably didnít catch up to me waiting on myself. You know what Iím saying? Those two years could have been a process of me just waiting on the commanding schedules of my brothers.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word.

    Masta Killa : Itís like I said: Iím in a blessed situation that I had the opportunity to do that twice and, like I said, itís just a blessing. But it wouldnít be what it is without those brothers because thatís where it all came from.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Of course. You figure if you take your time with it itíll have more longevity.

    Masta Killa : Indeed. Indeed. Indeed. Thatís how I see it.

    Nobodysmiling.com : I got you. Now other people from BK might have different perspectives, so from where you stand, what makes the BK swagger, if you will, different from the way other cats get down in different regions?

    Masta Killa : Yeah Iím saying umÖI mean...Iím from BK!

    Nobodysmiling.com : (laughs).

    Masta Killa : Thatís the uniqueness of it. You not me. And how Iíve survived my thirty seven years in BK might not be how you survived yours. So my experience is different from your experience, but hey, this all may be the same experience ya know? But we all saying the same shit-with different words at different times. I respect everything. Iím fortunate enough to say Iíve been around the world. Iíve been many different hoods-many different places, and everybody is basically saying the same shit-different words- so I respect everywhere. But this is just a opportunity to get people a chance to hear-get a feel of a little part of me and certain experiences of me-where I come from; not saying my shit is better; not saying Iím the king; not saying anything. Iím me. And this is where I come from.

    Nobodysmiling.com : OK. I got you. Do you have a most memorable experience from a place youíve been over seas?

    Masta Killa : Man... I love a lot of places man. I love Chicago, shit. LA- itís like, ya know, Japan; I been so many places Iím fortunate enough to say. Everywhere was an experience. Hawaii. A lot of places was beautiful experiences.

    Nobodysmiling.com : I got you. What was the last joint you recorded for ĎMade in Brooklyn?í

    Masta Killa : The last joint I recorded for 'Made in Brooklyn'ÖI believe was ahÖdamn. You know, like I said, seventy five percent of my work was basically done over a year ago.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Really?

    Masta Killa : Yeah. I never stop working, really. Iím constantly doing something you know what I mean? Even if itís writing something down or laying something down or just looking for music, you know? Iím always in search to grow and develop. So a lot of my work was basically done. I was-like I said-I was basically waiting on-like ĎDamn. OK I did this. If I had fuckin Deck voice on this shit! But damn, I havenít seen this ni**a in two fuckin months!í

    Nobodysmiling.com : Gotta go grab em!

    Masta Killa : ĎThis muthafucka been over seas for a month. He been here-damn!í I call; we talk. OK, Ďbut ni**a I don't even want you to just come and see me and jump on a fuckin track! I ain't seen you in two months. What's good ni**a?!'

    Nobodysmiling.com : Whatís good? Right.

    Masta Killa : 'First of all we gots to bump; we gots to hang out.' So that might take another two months!

    Nobodysmiling.com : (laughs).

    Masta Killa : You understand what I'm saying? So now it's four months, you understand what I'm saying? So, ya know, all these different chambers are going through that. It's like, I don't wanna just go see you [and say] 'Yo come jump on this shit -,' no. It's like, I will never forget-I love my brothers. So the opportunity to get to see you and hang out with you, smoke a bean with you, you know; bullshit, we kicking it about the fam-all that shit-means more to me even than this fuckin track.

    Nobodysmiling.com : -than the record, of course.

    Masta Killa : You know what I'm saying?
    Nobodysmiling.com : I got you. What are you listening to? What does Masta Killah listen to?

    Masta Killah : I listen to Gladys Knight, Patty Labelle, Barry White. I listen to all that old good shit; I listen to Parliament Funkadelic-I listen to all that shit basically my Moms was partying to; Ohio Players. I listen to mad shit. It's like-Gospel shit, you know what I mean?

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word.

    Masta Killah : I listen to all kinds of things. LikeÖI listen to nothing; I might listen to the wind today.

    Nobodysmiling.com : (laughs).

    Masta Killah : But everything has its' own sound. And to appreciate everything, that's what makes up the chemistry really.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Do you feel like you're too mature for the rap that's being pumped out these days?

    Masta Killah : No. I think that-I'm just ah...I'm not gon say I'm too mature for what's being pumped out. I just say that everything evolves and grows and changes and develops into what might be happening for that time. It doesn't say that you have to now become what's happening, you know what I'm saying? It's like if youíre a woman and all of a sudden it seems like it's a fad for everybody to have their breasts done doesn't mean you have to run out and get your breast done.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Right.

    Masta Killah : Because that might be what's going on for that time. I think if you stay true to yourself-always, always... always-not matter what's coming...then you can Bernard Hopkins the game.

    Nobodysmiling.com : (laughs).

    Masta Killah : (laughs). Look at Russell. Russell still doing it. They consider him like the God Father of this shit?

    Nobodysmiling.com : What? Thirty years? Thirty five years?

    Masta Killah : He's still involved, some way, somehow. This shit is so fucking global-it's so big-it's like come one, got us talking.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Right.

    Masta Killah : You know what I'm saying?

    Nobodysmiling.com : Right.

    Masta Killah : Hey man, apply yourself to something and positive things will come.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Definitely. I actually kind of pinch myself when I wake up in the morning. This is the music I pretty much grew up on and to be able to build with people I grew up listening to and listen to now is such a blessing. It's a wonderful thing.

    Masta Killah : Yo, I just said that same shit earlier to my man. I was like 'Yo sometimes I pinch myself cause I never even thought about being a fucking emcee, rapper or anybody within-ya know, some people consider Wu-Tang like a legendary crew. I don't even see it like that!

    Nobodysmiling.com : Nah?

    Masta Killah : I don't even see myself like that. So sometimes I have to pinch myself like 'OK, you're Masta Killah.'

    Nobodysmiling.com : (laughs).

    Masta Killah : 'Masta Killah, OK.' It's like ĎOK,í but if I see Big Daddy Kane I'm like 'Dang, that's fuckin Big Daddy Kane! There he go right there!' Know what I'm saying?

    Nobodysmiling.com : Yeah.

    Masta Killah : ...(continued below)

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    That's one thing: outside of your mirror, when you walking around in life you don't see ya self.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Right.

    Masta Killah : People see you, and that's why it's important to never forget the small things and the little things that you should really be appreciative of, so you can appreciate the big things-so called.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word up. Definitely. When you said 'Big Daddy Kane'-just got to throw this in-at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival last month? Yo he tore it down something ridiculous! Something ridiculous! That was incredible to me. Anyway, is there a Wu Tang album in the works? Can you fill me in on that?

    Masta Killah : Yeah it's always- Wu is always working. Whenever we gonna get together and say 'OK, this is what we gonna call this particular project?' I can't say that, but I know we always working together [in] some form or fashion. I consider my album to be a Wu-Tang Clan album because I have the supporting cast of my family.

    Nobodysmiling.com : True.

    Masta Killah : Every album is a Wu-Tang Clan album when you have the supporting cast of your family, you know what I mean? It's like...it's Wu-Tang regardless. Even if you see one of us you know the affiliation of where it comes from.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Representing the whole.

    Masta Killah : That's right. You think about all the classic albums, those is Wu-Tang Clan albums even though it might have the solo presidential face of 'Iron Man' or Ole Dirty or...come on, one of the most classical albums that they consider of Hip Hop is -they say 'Cuban Linx-'

    Nobodysmiling.com : Yessir.

    Masta Killah : -is one of the most classic albums and that's Raekwon's album. OK? But Raekwon only has three solo-three solo records on that album.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Right.

    Masta Killah : You understand what I'm saying? But this is Raekwon's album; but that's a Wu-Tang Clan album. My album wouldnít be what it is if it didn't have the supporting cast of my family and I know that.

    Nobodysmiling.com : OK. But as far as an official Wu Tang compilation-

    Masta Killah : Definitely. Like I said, we all have to be in agreeance of this is what we're gonna take the time to do because our careers command a lot from everybody being pulled in so many directions, ya-nah-mean, with having these obligations to fulfill. Outside of that, then you have your personal family obligations that you tryna fulfill.

    Nobodysmiling.com : And that's first.

    Masta Killah : So we being pulled in so many directions at this point in our lives because we're grown men as opposed to young men. It's like we just have to say 'OK. We gonna dedicate this amount of time to each other to say ĎThis is what this is.' We need to campaign it, that's all.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Right. I got you. Alright Killa, you want to say anything to the people before we wrap up homie?

    Masta Killah : Ayo I wanna say to the people: 'Made in Brooklyn.' I think it's gon be classic material for you, you know what I'm saying? Classic Hip Hop for you; something you can put in and definitely wanna rewind. You shouldn't wanna fast forward nothing on that, so...and good music is hard to find.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Indeed.

    Masta Killah : And I think this is a beautiful piece of music you can just put in and before you know it it's gone and you don't even know. It's like 'Damn.'

    Nobodysmiling.com : ĎLet me bring that back.í (laughs).

    Masta Killah : Word.

    Nobodysmiling.com : Word up.
    A wise man told me don't argue with fools
    cause people from a distance can't tell who is who
    - Jay-Z

  2. #2
    Commando Ultra WU-KILLAH's Avatar
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    Dope interview. Thanks

  3. #3
    FRESH FISH Klawful's Avatar
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    He sounds like the most grounded/down to earth member of the Wu

  4. #4


    this was posted a long time ago, when made in brooklyn dropped

    "Reciting a biblical verse before I make your melon burst like that nigga Jules from Pulp Fiction...my salvation is salivation, and diction crucifixion" - Ras Kass

    http://www.myspace.com/theblacksunn1 http://theblacksunn.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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